Explosion hits as Palestinian PM Rami Hamdallah enters Gaza

Explosion hits as Palestinian PM Rami Hamdallah enters Gaza

An explosion has struck the convoy of Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah upon his entrance into the Gaza Strip, lightly injuring several people. 

The explosive device detonated shortly after Hamdallah and his convoy passed through the Beit Hanoun checkpoint with Israel in northern Gaza on Tuesday, an Al Jazeera correspondent in Gaza reported.

Hamdallah was unharmed, though five people were lightly injured. 

The convoy managed to pass through and make its way to a planned inauguration of a wastewater treatment facility. 

The Palestinian Authority intelligence chief Majed Faraj was part of the convoy.

Fatah, the West Bank-based political party to which Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas belongs, blamed the explosion on Hamas, the ruling party in Gaza.

Hussein al-Sheikh, a member of the Fatah Central Committee said: “Hamas bears full responsibility for this criminal act. It sets a very dangerous precedent and many decisions and policies will be based on this [development].”

Speaking to Al Jazeera, Iyad al-Buzom, Gaza’s interior ministry spokesperson, said the act of placing blame “has a political dimension”. 

“Here in Gaza, we take all the security precautions to welcome all the convoys and delegations and particularly the prime minister as he entered Gaza,” he said. 

He added that “several suspects were arrested a short while ago,” and that an investigation “to find out who was behind the explosion” is underway.